Wednesday, March 21, 2007

“An Old Kind of Christian, A Jesus Kind of Christian”

I just listened to an incredible archived chapel message by Dr. Danny Akin of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (http://www.sebts.edu/). I believe the notes (below) are comprehensive enough:

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We have new theological “neighbors” moving into our “neighborhood”, and compared to the way we like to “keep house”, these “neighbors” seem strange. We should not grow so accustomed to seeing them that we ignore them. The father of our new “neighborhood family” is Brian McClaren, and many of his “family” members believe we need to “repaint” the Christian faith.


What we need is not a new kind of Christian, but an old kind of Christian, a Jesus kind of Christian. Jonathan Edwards asked a question and we should pay close attention to the answer: “What is it that makes the church like heaven?” The answer: love.


I Corinthians 13:1-13


  1. Love is essential (vv. 1-3). Jesus made it clear that the mark of a disciple is “love for one another.” Paul, following Jesus, makes it clear:

    1. It does not matter what you say. (v. 1) If love does not accompany what you say, you are a making the same noise as popular instruments of pagan temples! Without love, your words don’t matter.

    2. It does not matter what you know (v. 2). Note the comprehensive aspects of love:

      1. The word “love” is used 9 times in this passage;

      2. The word “all” is used 8 times.

      3. Without love you are nothing.

        1. Love must temper knowledge;

        2. Love builds up, specifically His kingdom.

    3. It does not matter what you do (v. 3). Without love, there is no profit.

      1. Anything you do to buy love is a form of prostitution.

      2. If your spirituality is without love, you are bankrupt.

  2. Love is expressive (vv. 4-8).

    1. Note the words in this section:

      1. All the words Paul uses to describe love are verbs;

      2. All the verbs Paul uses are in the present tense. This means that these verbs should be the habit of your life. You must be consistent, because we know we are not able to do it perfect.

    2. There must be a proper perspective:

      1. Inward perspective:

        1. Patient, longsuffering—just like Jesus. To do this, God must make your suffering long. This word for patience is used only in the context of relationships, not circumstances.

        2. Kind. How do you treat people beneath you? This word is in the context of your attitude when you have the opportunity to have the advantage.

        3. No envy. No inferiority complex (jealousy). You will not be happy with what you envy because you will always want more and blame God for holding out. Envy does not believe God.

        4. Does not puff up. No superiority complex (bragging, arrogant). Love is not a peacock, telling God how lucky He is to have us and how much we are a blessing to others.

      2. Outward perspective

        1. v.5. Love has manners, grace, respect for others.

        2. Love does not seek itself, does not begin or start with itself. Where you start depends on where you go, it takes care of others.

        3. Love is not provoked, does not have a quick fuse, is not easily angered. This is the destroyer of ministry. Bad temper is outside the walk of the Spirit!

        4. Keeps no record of wrong, no evil thoughts. Love forgives, even though it still remembers. God only forgives on the basis of the blood of His Son. [What do you think is meant when the Psalmist says God drops our sin in the sea of forgetfulness? Does God forget when He looks at His Son?]

      3. Upward perspective (v. 6)

        1. Love hates sin;

        2. Love rejoices in truth, which means love believes truth exists and can be known.

      4. Forward perspective (v. 7).

        1. Looks to the future. Love does not quit, not an emotion but a decision to press on.

        2. Love is not blind but looks for the best in others.

  3. Love is never-ending (v. 8-13)

    1. Love will outlive spiritual gifts. v.10 refers to the eschaton, love will still remain.

    2. Love will outlast spiritual growth. (vv. 11-12)

    3. Love will outshine spiritual graces

      1. Faith will become sight;

      2. Hope will become reality;

      3. Love keeps going. Why?

        1. God is not faith;

        2. God is not hope;

        3. God is love.


Assignment:

  1. Read through vv. 4-8, removing the word “love” and replace with the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

  2. Read through the same verses again and see how much you need Him to be love for you toward others.

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